New research suggests spinal cord and brainstem are essential for processing touch signals as they travel to the brain
A new study could be a game changer for users of prosthetic hands who have long awaited advances in dexterity. Researchers examined if people could precisely control the grip forces applied to two different objects grasped simultaneously with a dexterous artificial hand. They designed a multichannel wearable soft robotic armband to convey artificial sensations of touch to the robotic hand users. Subjects were able to successfully grasp and transport two objects simultaneously with the dexterous artificial hand without breaking or dropping them, even when their vision of both objects was obstructed. The study is the first to show the feasibility of this complex simultaneous control task while integrating multiple channels of haptic/touch sensation feedback noninvasively.
Prosthetics currently lack the sensation of “touch.” To enable a more natural feeling prosthetic hand interface, researchers are the first to incorporate stretchable tactile sensors using liquid metal and machine learning. This hierarchical multi-finger tactile sensation integration could provide a higher level of intelligence for artificial hands by improving control, providing haptic feedback and reconnecting amputees to a previously severed sense of touch.
Feeding method and affectionate touch patterns in depressed and non-depressed mothers and babies as well as infant’s EEG activity showed that mother-infant affectionate touch differed as a function of mood and feeding method (breastfeeding and bottle-feeding). Infants in the depressed and bottle-fed group reduced touch toward their mothers while breastfeeding had a positive effect on both mother and baby. Infants of depressed and breastfeeding mothers showed neither behavioral nor brain development dysregulation previously found in infants of depressed mothers.